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Drugs and Medicines

The placebo effect is longstanding, powerful

During the past three decades, innovative drugs that will prevent, cure or substantially reduce the morbidity of many illnesses have been produced. Yet, despite these pharmaceutical successes, the National Institutes of Health indicates that 38 percent of adult Americans choose to use some form of complementary or alternative medicine.

Unlike standard medications with active ingredients, these treatments have not undergone rigorous clinical investigations to demonstrate their effectiveness or potential harm before coming to the marketplace.

So why do so many people use untested drugs? It is usually because of the “placebo effect” that the patient receives from taking these...